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KERSTIN ANDERSON as Maria
THERE IS NO  SOUND MORE BEAUTIFUL
Than  “THE SOUND OF MUSIC”
By Iride Aparicio


Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

SAN JOSE, CA –  The hills in silicon Valley came alive on November 8th with the sounds of  RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S  New National Touring production of  “THE SOUND OF MUSIC.”  And they were marvelous.

Presented at the San Jose Center for the Creative Arts for five days as part of BROADWAY SAN JOSE, A Nederlander Presentation, this new theatrical production with book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE, (suggested by The Story of "The Trapp Family Singers" written by Maria Agusta Von Trapp and publised in l949) ) The stpru is based on reality and the records of the Austrian family who fled the Nazi regime and traveled to America, can be found in the records of the National Archives and Records Administration.

L-R KERSTIN ANDERSON as Maria and the Von Trapp children
     L-R KERSTIN ANDERSON as Maria and the Von Trapp children

“THE SOUND OF MUSIC,” the musical, is based on the first section of her book. and relates the reason why in l926, Maria, a novice at the Abbey, arrived at Baron’s Georg Von Trapp's (a Captain in the Royal Navy) residence, to work as governess for his seven children, (in reality there were ten, not seven) Years after, advised by the nuns, since at that time she was not sure if she wanted or not to abandon her religious calling, she married the Baron Von Trapp in l927. Eleven years later, when the family escaped from Austria,  they went to Italy (not to Switzerland as we are told in the musical) because Italy, at that time, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Georg Von Trapp had been born in Zadar (now Croatia) which had become part of Italy in l920, so now he was considered Italian, instead of Austrian., and as Italian, he could easily travel to America with his family.

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Captain Georg Von Trapp (BEN DAVIS) and children

In the book, Maria  also reveals that at first, she fell in love with the children, not with him, but that after the years she fell in love with Georg and learned to love him more than she had ever loved anyone before or after.

Maria’s story, altered in the musical, and the music of ROGERS and HAMMERSTEIN, makes “THE SOUND OF MUSIC one of the most loved musicals for everyone, and this new production is wonderful.

This  Musical starts in the Abbey, with an “A ’Capella”  choir (a nun’s choir sung without instrumental Accompaniment) sung in Latin by the Mother Abbess (MELODY BETTS) and Sisters Berthe (CARY REBECCA BROWN) Sister Margaretta (JULIA OSBORNE) and Sister Sophia, (ANNA MINTZER) in perfect harmony.

 

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KERSTIN ANDERSON as Maria &MELODY BETTS as the Abbess

From there we are transported it to an outdoor projection of the Austrian Mountains with Postulant Maria (ANDERSON) singing the theme song “The Sound of Music.” Her tone is clear her sound pure, she sings well and her vocalization is perfect. that Here we can add that every one of the actors/somgers in this musical, including the children vocalized their words perfectly.

The story in the musical, follows the story of the book and the movie.. The characters are Captain Georg Von Trapp, (BEN DAVIS) and his children (Friedrich (ROY GANTZ) Louisa (ASHLEY BROOKE) Kurt (AUSTIN LEVINE) Brigitta (IRIS DAVIES) and Gretl (GENNY GAGNON) and Baroness Elberfeld (REBECCA PITCHER) and Max Detweiler, ( MERWIN FOARD). The musical also reveals in the song " Sixteen going on Seventeen" the romance of Liesl (PAIGE SILVESTER) and Rolf (AUSTIN COLBY) who has a marvelous timbre of  voice.

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L-R PAIGE SILVESTER as Liesl and AUSTIN COLBY as Rolf

The acting in the musical is natural. The singing, beautiful. All the children act their individual roles as “children” and sing their choirs well. Both Fraulein  Maria (ANDERSON) and Captain Georg (DAVIS) have marvelous voices.   Another beautiful voice in this musical belongs to BETTS, as the Mother Abbess.   Under Conductor JAY ALGER, the orchestra was in tune and allowed the singers to deliver  their songs without overpowering their voices

As for scenic designs, (DOUGLAS W. SCHMIDT), this production looks more like a movie than a theatrical play. The set re[resemtomg the inside of the Von Trapp’s mansion with a banister stairwell looks sumptuous. And the projections representing the inside of the Abbey’s Chapel, a wall with a row Gothic windows, was breath taking.

From all the previous versions of “The Sound of Music” presented on stage, which have been many, this version is the very best. It is technically perfect, outstanding in its visual effects, professionally acted, and its story has heart

And in the musical part, with songs such as “Climb every Mountain”  “My Favorite Things” Edelweiss” and others including two new ones, a gift to our ears. This production, which  received a long standing ovation in its opening night, made us realize that the sound more beautiful heard on the American stage, is “THE SOUND OF MUSIC.”

THE SOUND OF MUSIC will continue playing at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, until November 13. For tickets go to you can go online to www.broadwaysanjose.com or order by phone by calling: (800) 982-2787